Atlanta: The Jacket
November 2, 2016 8:12 AM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Yo last night was 10 crazy. I bout lost my mind, Quita lost her phone, and this fool Earn lost his jacket smh. Who cares tho πŸ˜‚ (laugh-crying emoji). [Season finale]

The season finale for Atlanta follows Earnest as he looks for his jacket. Well, the contents of his jacket.

Music from this episode:
- Broccoli (feat. Lil Yachty) by D.R.A.M. [official music video, explicit and booties]
- Flippin All Night by iLoveMakonnen
- Ride wit Me (feat. City Spud) by Nelly [official music video]
- Elevators (Me & You) by OutKast [official music video]
posted by filthy light thief (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Alan Sepinwall (HitFix) thought the understated finale was a fitting end to the season, and showed some growth for Earn. I agree on most counts - I was hoping for a bit more something in the finale, it felt a bit too understated, given what the show has covered in the past few episodes.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:54 AM on November 2, 2016

I just love this show so fricken much.
posted by bleep at 9:28 PM on November 2, 2016

This show has such good moments. A lot of the quieter scenes are just great. The atmosphere, the trees, the sounds of summer. Fantastic. And the interplay between Darius, Earn & Paper Boi work so well, as do those between Van & Earn.

The thing they need to get rid of is the gun violence. They made it 2 or 3 episodes, but in this one had a drug dealer get shot to death by police for ... running? For nothing. Then Earn's nonchalance with wanting the cops to check his jacket's pockets moments after the man was pronounced dead, with his wife or family member right there crying and in shock, was just awful.

That isn't funny.

There are all kinds of ways to try to excuse it. Well that's what his show's about, finding bits of humanity during dark times in the midst of trying to make it out of poverty. Well Childish Gambino had a song where he talked about witnessing such a shooting and he pondered what the point of life is and why are we here - a point echoed at the end when he eschewed a roof over his head and instead chose a storage space.

All kinds of excuses. But at the end of the day, this show could be better without that stuff. It's his show so he can put whatever he wants in it. And making it better could hurt ratings, since people really seem to enjoy black pain. Watch a lot of things on television and you may start to notice that when the scenes are all black people, there immediately has to be some kind of reason they are there, typically a life-threatening or changing one. It's like, we can't just watch black people being. I think I'd kind of hoped that, while I haven't really gotten into it, the 'carefree black boys' thing would find its way into more media, to offset this.

And so when this show started off a few episodes with Earn and Van just laying in bed talking, and when they've had the scenes where nothing is really happening, I enjoyed it. But they've upped the ratio of blunt smoking, n-word saying, gun and other violence surrounded life, when to me the show's better moments are just the opposite. It's Darius pondering something. It's Earn trying to make money, or questioning something, or just interacting with other people.

But I guess between this and Insecure, I'll take these new shows that aren't the same old same old, for the most part.
posted by cashman at 8:29 AM on November 4, 2016 [3 favorites]

Hey cashman,

but in this one had a drug dealer get shot to death by police for ... running? For nothing. Then Earn's nonchalance with wanting the cops to check his jacket's pockets moments after the man was pronounced dead, with his wife or family member right there crying and in shock, was just awful.

That isn't funny.

I got something very different from this scene. The exasperation of the Black Lives Matter movement is that this stuff does happen and all the time and black people know it all too well. The absurdity of the way the police acted and Earn's nonchalance added this surreal quality to the goings-on that I felt really brought the point home. Yes it was played comically but I felt it was done that way to intensify the feeling of helplessness that many black people feel when dealing with the police.

In other words I don't think it was meant to be a callous reading of a horrible event done just for laughs. But I totally get that this approach to writing the scene isn't obvious and leaves room for many interpretations. I just wanted to point out that other readings are possible.

But they've upped the ratio of ... n-word saying ...

I'm not sure what you're getting at here. This particular usage is a dialectical feature of African American Vernacular English. Many studies have been done about this usage and here's one small bit taken from this post on Language Log:
It [nigga] is currently used by younger African Americans (roughly under 30) and some non-African Americans to mean β€˜male’; it applies to males of any ethnicity in much the same way as does guy.
This seems consistent with its use in the show. Yes, it is a term that white people should not use but that's just the way of things. Language is complicated like that. But the bigger point is that it would be far more unrealistic to not use it so much in the show.


In the end I thought the finale and the entire season was fantastic. Some of the best writing and acting on television. Plus having lived in Atlanta for 17 years they do really nice job of creating the feel of living in Atlanta (better than The Walking Dead!).
posted by bfootdav at 7:34 PM on November 4, 2016 [5 favorites]

I mentioned in an earlier post, but it is even more obvious in this episode, Earn's reaction to the shooting of the Uber driver is clearly meant to show how absurd it is that such horrific violence has become normalized and mundane. It is treated as an everyday occurrence. It isn't supposed to be funny, nor is it meant to be poverty porn for a liberal white audience, a trap shows like The Wire have been accused of getting caught in. The way it is never glamorized and never presented in a way to tug at the heartstrings and then provide false catharsis suggests that the creator and writers have taken a very considered approach.

This show is at least centrally about Earn, who has left the Ivy League to try to make his way in Atlanta. Atlanta is the sixth most dangerous city in America, and it is particularly dangerous for people in the demographic category shared by Earn, Alfred, and Darius. A recent report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that out of 184 Georgians shot by police in the last 6 years, almost half of them were unarmed or shot only in the back. Both numerically and proportionally, Black Georgians shot by the police were more likely to be unarmed, more likely to be shot in the back, and more likely to be shot in the back while unarmed than white Georgians.

I don't think they can just get rid of the violence. I don't think you can refer to the reasons for including it as excuses when it is such a central theme of the show. The show's first scene ended with a gunshot.

Incidentally, it doesn't seem fair to call the Uber driver a drug dealer just because the police did. They're obviously not too detail oriented--just blasting anything that moves.
posted by nequalsone at 10:12 AM on November 17, 2016 [6 favorites]

We watched this show slowly without bingeing and found it real, heartbreaking, funny, wise, absurd, and are looking forward to season 2. Thanks mefi for flagging this as worth watching.
posted by tingting at 6:41 AM on December 5, 2016

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